mother of women's judo", Brooklyn born Rena Kanokogi
ran up $25,000 on her credit card in 1980 to organize the
first Women's World Judo Championships at New York's Madison
After threatening the International Olympic Committee with legal action for its refusal to recognize women's judo - men's judo had been introduced in 1964 - the female event made its bow at the 1988 Games, with Kanokogi coach of the U.S. women's team.
Rena "Rusty" Glickman took up judo as a youngster, but found training accommodations in New York sparse, and female competition virtually non-existent. In 1959, posing as a man, she won the New York State YMCA judo championship, but had to return her medal after officials learned she was a woman.
With no options to compete in the U.S., Rusty traveled to Tokyo in 1962, and became the first female to practice at the Kodokan's main dojo. It was there she met and married martial arts black belt Ryohei Kanokogi.
Among her numerous honors, Rena was inducted into the International Women's Sport Hall of Fame in 1984, and is recipient of "World Pioneer of Women's Judo Award" from the International Judo Federation Congress. In 2008, Kanokogi was presented the Emperor's Award of the Rising Sun, bestowed upon foreigners who have had a positive influence on Japanese society.